What’s being talked about in the surfing circle as “The September To Remember” will go down in fishing log books as a month full of hindrances… swell on top of swell. Fortunately for anglers, September’s chain smoking tropic systems have extinguished.
Some local boats headed offshore on Friday night to take a look at the edge and discover what the beautiful temperature break is holding. The weather window turned out to shut down much sooner than forecasts called. Some boats got into tuna at the Hudson and the Lindenkohl chunking and trolling. Reports from boats fishing the same areas also were dismal. Here’s a photo from Dan D. who ran into some crazy weather. They put some fishing time in but called it off early due to weather.
Tog fishing at the Barnegat Inlet Jetty continues to offer really fun fishing. Shop regular Armondo has been in on the action. He reports, “There’s lots of fish but most are shorts. We are having a blast catching and releasing.” All repeat customers getting live green crabs say they are catching. Some are picking sea bass, triggerfish and sheepshead too. When asked about keepers tog… “few and far between.” One angler today said, “Zero for 80, but heading back to try some more.”
Public Service Announcement: Be sure to properly measure your fish! If lucky enough to get a nice fish, lay it out and make sure it makes and exceeds the 15″ mark. The “L-Style” measuring board is a must have. If using a tape, it is very important to get a straight line measurement with the mouth closed. Fish and Game Officers were checking this weekend and warnings were issued. Sounds like some are keeping undersized fish and some over their bag limit. When fishing keep an eye out and if you witness a violation, report it to NJ’s Operation Game Thief (24/7) 1-855-OGT-TIPS. It’s confidential.
One angler in the shop said he measured one tog at 15.25″ and put it in the pale. Turns out he got checked and the officer measured it to be just a hair short. The angler used a tape and the officer (as always) used a L-Style board. He could have been fined, but was given a warning. Lesson learned.
Fishing The Backwaters Of LBI
Weakfish continue to offer action in the bay. Anglers targeting the tiderunners are having trouble with bluefish. Anglers are catching using live peanut bunker as well as softbaits like the classic Fin-s and Storm Shads. Anglers on the bay have reported a strong showing of resident bass schooled up on the flats and sod banks. With the abundance of bait in the back these linesiders are eating good! Word is Storm Chug Bug Poppers and Stillwater Smack-In Jr Poppers are top producing lures.
Surf Fishing On LBI
Finally true to season… cool, crisp fall like weather. This beautifully dry, no/low humidity air breaths surf fishing weather. The surf fishing has been on the slow side with little reports due to the large swells. Those looking to enjoy a day on the beach fishing should look to target small to medium sized blues and the occasional kingfish. Fish mullet, cut bunker or if looking for the latter live bloodworms, DyanBait freeze dried bloodworms or FishBites.
Here’s some information from last weekend’s 71st Annual World Series of Surf Fishing Tournament. These details help other surf anglers gauge what’s cruising the local sandbars. 43 teams fishing as well as 16 individual anglers catching a total of 99 total fish. 53 bluefish, 25 kingfish, 21 fish which fell into the other category.
1st Place Team – Merchantville Fishing Club “A” (80.25 Points)
1st Place Team – New Jersey Beach Buggy Association (80.25 Points)
3rd Place Team – South Jersey Surfcasters (73.50 Points)
Largest Fish Male – Kevin Eichman (19.50” Bluefish)
Largest Fish Male – Dave S (19.50” Bluefish)
Most Fish Male – Mike Vishoric Sr (37.0 Points)
Largest Fish Female on a Team – Rita Bennett (16.50 Point)
Most Fish Female on a Team – Pat Searby (28.25 Point)
Largest Fish Youth – Ryan O’Connell (16” Bluefish)
Most Points Youth – Ryan O’Connell (32 Points)
Long Beach Island Fishing Tournament
The LBI Surf Fishing Classic kicks off next Saturday October 7th. Sign up now while the free hat supplies last. The annual opening day surf fishing seminar is Saturday morning at 10am. Location: Ship Bottom Fire Hall.
News On Barnegat Bay Dredge Project
It’s been a long time coming… Finally pipe is staged and work is in motion. Here’s some information we got from the state’s press release…
Barnegat Bay Inlet area dredging begins in October. The work is part of an $8.7 million dollar project to dredge State channels in Forked River and Barnegat Bay. This portion of the project will include the following channels: Double Creek Mainland, Double Creek Inlet, High Bar Harbor and Barnegat Light Stake. Double Creek Inlet Channel has been closed, and commercial, sailboat and general recreational traffic had been severely limited in some locations since Superstorm Sandy. This project will ensure renewed safe navigation, and maintain these Barnegat Bay Channels in a state of good repair.
Channel use may be limited where the dredge is in operation and where the pipeline is carrying dredged material to its placement locations. Channel closures are not expected, although this is subject to change.
Mariners should be advised that State Aids to Navigation (ATON) will be removed as necessary for the duration of the project. Updates to the Local Notice to Mariners should be expected as the project progresses.
The public is advised to be aware of and stay alert to the pipeline, buoys, dredge and other equipment during this time. NJDOT asks that no one approach the pipeline, dredge or any related project equipment under any circumstances, whether or not active dredging operations are observed.
Pipelines can often be difficult to see on the water, and boaters should proceed through dredging maintenance and construction zones with the utmost caution. No wake speed should be observed in active work zones throughout the project duration.
Here’s a link to the state’s press release: www.state.nj.us/transportation/about/press/2017/092517.shtm
Here’s some additional info from Kimberly at the Barnegat Light Taxpaters’ Association…
Due to environmental restrictions, (to safeguard young flounder and submerged aquatic vegetation) work was set for after summer. Dredging is going to take place from October through December
The four channels to be dredged are: Double Creek Mainland Channel starting at East Bay Avenue, Barnegat; Double Creek Inlet; High Bar Harbor Channel; and Barnegat Light Stake Channel, located off the municipal boat ramp in Barnegat Light.